Friday, May 22, 2015

Not the least bit entertaining but.........

In truth that's exactly how I have felt about writing in this blog for some time now. But I decided that if it was only for myself to vent or get "stuff" out of my head or heart, then it was worth it. I used to think I was in "business" here in blogdom to entertain. And in all modesty, I think we, the Cuckoos, have done so, for the past 5.9 years that the kiddos have been back here.

But now, well, I update you on their activities and that's about it. Haven't crafted in so long. Haven't created a fun anything either. The grands and end of school year have been my only activities. Not that that is bad because without their activities and all, I would be without focus most days.

Today is the first day of summer break. Ry will be starting middle school in the fall and GK will be a sophomore. He had his 5th grade graduation and she got an award in her art class. You remember, the teacher who calls her Carrot Cake because someone else thought that's what he said when he called her name (GereaKaye, pronounced like Sara). He and his wife, her science teacher are both really fond of Carrot Cake and at the awards ceremony that is what he called her to come up to the stage and get the most promising rising star award. Both the grands have summer activities so that should keep me busy.
Fun time at the 5th grade graduation. Ry is right smack dap in the middle back row behind the girl in a rose shirt

Ry and his favorite teacher, Ms. L
But I must tell you that my health has been keeping me busy with hospital, doctor appointments, fighting with my insurance and trying to keep all the appointments. I had bronchitis again and also a severe bladder infection. The nurse practioner put me on high powered antibiotics, yet again, and sent me to get an ultrasound. She was looking for something in my pelvic region. Bingo, they found something and she sent me in for an MRI. I got an approval number and a case number, but (get this) my insurance wasn't going to pay a penny for it. I was in shock. After roughly 40 years of paying premiums monthly at an average of $300/mo....doing the math $144,000........and they can't pay for an MRI???? Oh stars.

Anyway, SweetMan and I took it upon ourselves (cuz really who else would) and he is going to start drawing his social security and we are both going on Medicare and a supplement. We have to. I can't afford to pay $2500.00 for an MRI when on this supplement insurance  will pay $50 for an MRI. I have never taken anything from the government, but I guess I need to now and in a way I feel weird. But I would like to live a few years longer and getting the MRI and whatever this thing is that is growing inside me out is my target right now. Not that I look forward to the surgery.

So I have been preoccupied with that crapee' for the last two months. Sorry lovelies. I am looking forward to getting on down the road and on the mend for reals.

xoxo Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The girl is 15 today.............

For the past 15 years I have looked forward to Cinco de Mayo for a whole other reason than most who celebrate the day with margaritas and enchiladas. I was made a grandma on this day for the first time. Four years later I got the best birthday present ever when Mr. Ry was born.

way back when they all were just puppies
Grands birthdays are an excuse to look back at the fun we've had and look forward and ponder what their lives might be. GK is finishing her first year in high school. Gosh has this been a year of change for her. More independence, more responsibility and a new appreciation for what she needs to accomplish in order to get to goals that are set by her Mom and Sweet Man and I.

GK's 4th BD
I had a brother and sister but we were separated by 13 and 14 years so I never had the kind of relationship with them that Ry and GK have. It is the biggest blessing and curse to see them interact as close siblings. They fight and laugh just as hard as any two people could. They know each others triggers and tickle spots. But the love and nurturing that Ms. GK exhibits to her brother will forever make me look at the two of them in awe and appreciation for the good kids they are. And lately, because she has had teenage hurts in her life, Ry has had the opportunity to return some of that nurturing to his big sis.

neither one of them looks too happy in this photo.....distracted
Their Mom has done such a beautiful job of expecting her children to be respectful, courteous, truthful and responsible. They are kind to all who deserve their respect and most of the time find it in their hearts to be good to even those that don't deserve it. They make an Oma proud.

Ry is going into middle school this year. GK took the day off from school to accompany her Mom to his potential new charter school to check it out and give it the Big Sister seal of approval. Both Shelley and GK were thrilled to find out that teachers and the principal are familiar to them from GK's old school and since some of his favorite teachers from his current school will be teaching at this new school next year, they are comfortable with the transition from elementary school to middle school that he will be making.

Shelley begins her new job tomorrow so she and GK are spending the "hooky day" off to do their girl things together. Hair, nails and Mom and daughter time.

my beautiful daughter
Shelley will be starting a new chapter in her life today. I am so glad she is back at a job that has potential for advancement. She worked for 6 years as a waitress and it began to drag her down but that's a Karma story for another day. She is thrilled at the new possibilities. The change in hours will be drastic for us as a family but........onward and upward, as they say.

Anyway, back to the birthday girl.

just one of the half a million selfies she has taken
Happy Birthday to the best granddaughter in the world. To the one person who can get away with bitchin' me out and making me laugh while she does it. The one person who can break my heart with just a look of those gorgeous root beer colored eyes and melt my heart when she still sits in my lap and shows me something that is important to her. Thank you G for always being willing to learn something new with me and teach me more about life all the time. We are all so very proud of you. And I am the luckiest Oma in the world.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Now who can have an Oz tea party????????????

Before I disclose the winner of the sugar and creamer, I want to share some interesting information I've gleaned since I read through the 75th anniversary Readers Digest magazine that April gifted me for my birthday. The magazine is filled with all manner of tidbits of information about the production of the movie and the actors.

First I will share this comment left by Chubby Chatterbox. You're such a fan that you probably know the story about Frank Morgan (the actor playing OZ) and the coat he wore in the movie? He selected the coat at random in an MGM warehouse and when he got it home he noticed the tattered label inside: F. Baum.

But in fact, I didn't know that. I think that is very cool.

Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West, got burned in an accident in the scene where WWW is departing Munchkinland after not being able to get the "shoes". She was to stand on a trap door and disappear in the big burst of red smoke, but the trap door didn't open and the flash burn of the smoke burned her. From that time on during filming she wouldn't be near fire. She refused to do the close up shots on the sky writing scene. Her double for that shot was severely burned during the filming of that scene. Hmmmmmmmm, she and the Scarecrow shared the fear of fire. Sounds like they both had good reason.

Also the green makeup used actually stained her skin green. Even after the production ended, she still had a green cast to her skin for weeks. Another makeup snafu was with the original actor chosen to play the Tinman. Buddy Epstein had a horrible reaction to the makeup and couldn't play the part. 

And the one I really enjoyed reading about was the dog that played Toto. Terry was a female cairn terrier whose former owners took her to a trainer because she had too many accidents on the carpet. They never went back to get her. The trainer, Carl Spitz, found Terry to be a very bright and cooperative pup and said she was easy to train. Terry was in at least 11 movies over the years and was always considered a pet on her off time from the movies. Judy Garland fell in love with her and wanted to adopt her after Oz but Mr. Spitz considered her a member of his family and declined Ms. Garlands request. So Terry was a rescue dog.

I could go on forever about the "things" that happened while shooting the film but....I'll restrain myself.

Now, as to the winner of the Wizard of Oz creamer and sugar bowl. Ry was up watching cartoons so he did the draw and the winner is, Debi of Easel and Quill. Must have been the wish that you and I would have tea together someday that put the mojo on the little slip of paper with your name. Congratulations to you. Just send me your address and I'll package up your winnings.

Thanks to all who entered, participated and made Celebrate Oz - Shadows of Oz such a fun time.

Also, Sunshineshelle asked me to do the draw for her giveaway of the painting of the Winged Monkey and a Dorothy button. Once again Ry was the picker outter and he pulled Stacy of Magic Love Crow as the lucky winner of the giveaway. I have to say.....I'm jelly.

Congrats Ms. Stacy. 

xoxo Oma Linda

xoxo Oma Linda 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

And life went on after Oz................

At the same time that I was basking the afterglow of yet another fun and wonderful Oz celebration, there was other exciting things going on here at Casa de Cuckoo.

Shelley, Ry and G went to the Autism Run on Saturday morning. They were to dress up like a super hero. G and Ry made capes. It's so great that they do things like this together. The got lots of good information, shared the fun with others they knew and got to raise some money for Autism programs. They came home chattering away about all the fun they had.

little brother had to get in on the photo too
Later in the afternoon Ms. G was getting ready for Prom. She looked so pretty. All those years of her playing dress up flooded back into my mind when I saw her in her dress. She has always like to dress up.
never misses a chance to "do" a photo

She went with a friend. They both wanted to go but neither really had anyone they wanted to "date" for the evening, so they went together. Everything was done at the last minute. Buying the tickets, making the transportation arrangements, etc. As a matter of fact, the young man brought a friend of his because the other boy that was initially suppose to go couldn't at the last minute. So the two guys and G went together. Life has a way of playing tricks on you if you are not careful though.

G, her friend and his friend
The friend is a young man who's ex girlfriend is also an acquaintance of Ms. G's. This girl broke up with the young man back in November. But as 9th grade girls are prone to do, this girl made sure that drama was every one's companion that night. This silly girl threatened and insulted Ms. G and the young man, even though she knew they were going as "just friends". It didn't end on Saturday night either but continued at school on Monday.

Gerea is very capable of handling herself but was slightly confused and agitated by the whole drama of "yeah, I broke up with him but you can't be friends with him", thing. Also the two guys got jealous of each other over G that night. Teenagers are nutz.........

I was not surprised by the high drama and I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere for G. My advice to her was not to make herself smaller and slink around as though she had done something wrong, because she didn't. But rather, just be her big persona and ignore the pettiness. It's hard I know, but after all those years of dreading Prom time when I was working with teenagers because someone always had to drop a drama bomb on it, I keep assuring G that "this too will pass".

The whole incident also reminded me that I don't miss the drama of hormones and hi jinx I had to endure when I did work with those rotten beasties.

Thanks once again to all the lovelies who participated in Celebrate Oz and also to all of you who visited and commented. I'll draw the winner of the sugar and creamer set on Saturday morning. Good Luck. xoxo Oma Linda

Friday, April 10, 2015

Shadows of Oz, a Celebration of Oz 2015

When I first thought of the Shadows of Oz, I thought of them perhaps as characters in a story. Then my mind wandered to what would be lurking in the Shadows of Oz. But I just couldn't go there with my beloved Oz. While I have, like so many of you been startled as a child with the terror of the wicked witch and her relentless dogging of Dorothy and the others, as well as the melting end of said witch, along with the creepy trees in the forest, the dark feeling of the castle, it just wasn't the tone I think of when I look back on my impressions and fond memories of Oz.

I will forever be in the Shadows of Oz. Perhaps that's it, light being the creator of Shadow. The Light of Oz, without it there would be no shadow cast on my childhood and into my adulthood. Maybe Oz is such a dazzling source of light so bright a vision that the shadow of that light casts itself as the memories of all the hours spent reading, imagining and pretending that I am a part of the Land of Oz.

Reading the books and watching the Wizard of Oz is a part of who I am as a woman, wife, mother, Oma, friend and neighbor. I still want to join arms and skip down the yellow brick road. I still want to wander in the dark forest and find new creatures who can talk and interact with me. I still want to fly by being held by flying monkeys as transportation. I still want to be a friend to all who also have a heart granted them and influenced by the Wizard of Oz. That is a life changing shadow created by a wonderful warm and happy light.

Yes that's me "back in the day" being air lifted over Oz in a Paul Granger illustration

And you my lovelies are just that kind of friend.......thank you so much for 5 lovely years of Ozing. Thank you for all the friendships begun because of a shared love for Baum's stories, the forever best movie or all the modern adaptations of our beloved Ozian roots. It has been my joy to play along with you and with any luck at all, we will be joining together again to Celebrate Oz.

I have chosen for my giveaway a sugar and creamer set that comes in a collector's tin with great illustrations of Oz. Just leave a comment, tell me what you love so much about Oz and I'll be putting those names in a hat and choosing the winner on April 18. Oh and here's an extra bonus. If you can find out in which blog post of one of the other participants my face is part of their giveaway and come back and tell me, I'll give you 2 extra chances to win the collectors sugar and creamer set.

Good luck to you all.

Close your eyes, click your heels together and please go to the other contributors blogs listed in the right hand column and see what their thoughts are on the Shadows of Oz Celebration.

Ozian Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Less than a day until.....................

Celebrate Oz 2015 - The Shadows of Oz.

I have double checked the blog addresses of the participants. I have everything ready for tonight at midnight. And I'm chomping at the bit to see what fun and fancy offerings there will be from all.

We're ready!!!!!!!

In other Route 66 birthday was very low keyed and so much fun. I sat back and enjoyed watching Ry open his Marvel(ous) gifts. And his Marvel(ous) cake. SpiderMan, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man all had their colors on Ry's birthday cake. So much fun.

Sweet Man and I got him some stuffies from one of his favorite games.....plants vs zombies. Mom and Sissy got him a couple of games, some boy barbies action figures and he was thrilled.

I got a new patio umbrella in a lovely shade of turquoise, a backyard rectangular umbrella for our seating area and a bottle tree form. As soon as I can set these up I'll show you our "haint" blue glass bottle tree and where we are going to relax this summer. I also got 2 new gnomes who will spice up the faery garden and a copy of the Reader's Digest "75 Years of America's Family Classic magazine.

Am I lucky or what that folks know just what I love????????????

See ya tomorrow lovelies,

Smooches and Squoozes

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Break with the grands just whizzed past in a blur.........

Didn't think two weeks ago that I would be able to have any out of the house fun with the grands because of health constraints. But thank goodness I am now on some meds that make it possible to leave the house for a fair amount of time.

So knowing that, we decided to take a trip that Ms. GK had requested. She and Ry watched the movie "Young Guns" with Emilio Estevez, Kieffer Sutherland and other actors back when they were all just youngsters. It was filmed here in New Mexico and is about Billy the Kid. So we went on a Kid adventure to Lincoln NM where Sherrif Pat Garrett arrested and brought William Bonny to be tried for all his crimes during the Lincoln County Wars. There are bullet holes in the bottom of the stair case, supposedly put there by Billy the Kid himself as he escaped the courthouse and headed out of town to evade the "law" until they caught up with him in Fort Sumner, NM.

The Tunstall General Store has the same kind of fixtures that the General Store out at my grandfather's ranch had. It's interesting when I think of my relatives being in close proximity to the whole Lincoln county wars. There are family stories of being in the area when The Kid and the Regulators came riding through either running from or chasing the "bad guys". Sure makes the whole tale of William Bonney more real.

Lincoln is about 3 hours southeast of here and going the back roads lends itself to the historical attitude of the adventure. Lots of beautiful scenery, particularly in the spring. Both of the grands studied New Mexico history in 4th grade and Ms. G again in 8th grade. So there was lots to discuss about the area in which we were driving. There is a huge lava flow, gypsum flats, red, yellow and white striated rock formations and all the mesquite, red willow and yuccas you could ever want to see. It also helped that Sweet Man and I took many a trip on the route when we transported and escorted teenagers to church camp some 25 years ago. All in all the trip was so much fun.

But there is always a surprise when traveling with the grands. GK had seen a video on Youtube with a little girl standing and watching a flock of snow geese. Here is a link to that video:   The little girl says, "look at all them chickens".  Every time we would go past a herd of cows, the grands would say, "look at all them chickens". You know how kids are, if something was funny the first two times they said it, then surely to goodness it will be hilarious 92 times later.

So on the way back, Sweet Man, stopped on the side of the road, near a group of mama cows and the most adorable calves. Then he said, yep you guessed it....."look at all them chickens". To which the grands begged to get out and go to the fence line and see the baby cows.

Now I know a lot of you know from reading the blog that GK has a way with animals. She is our in house donkey whisperer, finder of lost cats and dogs and friend to so many birds in the yard, who just have no fear of her at all. Of course they got out of the car and went to introduce themselves to the nursery of calves. I thought the mamas would hurry the little ones away but instead, they all pushed closer to Ms. G as she cooed to them. She touched their noses, they gave her cow kisses, even the mamas. Then she encouraged her brother, who is usually a scaredy cat to be calm, sit still and extend his hand. When he did, he too was rewarded with slimey, wonderfully live affirming cow kisses and was so proud of doing so. Made me tear up watching not only the interaction of child and animal but the love of a big sister for her little brother, who I swear in another six months is going to be taller than she.

These photos are from a video we took. I just picked out a few of the scenes that warmed my heart.

We spent a good half hour, just watching the kids, watching the cows, watching the kids. It was so zen.  And then GK turns to the camera and says, with the same inflection in her voice as the little girl on the Youtube video, "look at all them chickens". And yep it was funny.

We also made time this last week to do some arting projects for the yard, fashion some really insane dyed and colored eggs including a Godzilla inspired one (don't ya love the chalkboard eggs?), go for nature walks and enjoy some time together. They are such good kids. They make me nutz sometimes but then again.....I return the favor in kind. Tee Hee.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The state of the ..............

I feel silly calling this anything except an update. I can't even come up with a clever title at this point. My mojo is slipping. I'm a bit on the ditsy side of life. It has been forever and day since I haven't been congested or feeling weak or anxiety ridden.

I have been in hibernation it seems in many ways for over a year. I recently had another bout of not being able to breathe or sleep. Some of my facebook friends came to my rescue by sending along potions for anti anxiety and blessed sleep. They helped a lot but I needed to do something for myself and so I began therapy again and finally got to the doctor. Turns out my anxiety is not just emotional based but also stem from some physical issues that are being addressed now. And as for the lack of sleep......same thing. There are physical reasons that a good night's rest was non-existent for me. My fibro and other already recognized issues are now joined by some other nasty cohorts to make life a little more challenging. But instead of looking at it in the negative, I'll focus on the fact that I have a life to be challenged.

Just another fun way to chase your tail.
I have slept more in the past two nights than I had in the two weeks previous combined. Lack of sleep has a horrible affect on your mind. I had, at one point started having hallucinations. Not good. If it were not for the fact that I have a wonderful support system in my husband, daughter and grands as well as my friends, I don't know what I would have done. They all have lifted me up and kept me going.

I am looking forward for the first time in a very long time. I know that I haven't shared a lot with you, my lovelies, but it has been a rough year for me. I just didn't feel like I could or should share my problems with all of you. I know some do but my situations seemed small in comparison to so many folks who have horrendous maladies and life situations to face.

I had forgotten what tough old bird I am. I had lost some of my muchness along the way, but I am in process and that is a very hopeful and great place to be right now.

A little more than two weeks and we will be Celebrating Oz - Shadows of Oz. I hope you will join us on April 11 for the festivities.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Less than a month and we will be back in Oz..........

perhaps gazing at shadows, reading shadowy verse or playing at a new adventure in Oz in the shadows. Maybe you'll be in the shadows or without a shadow of a doubt.

I really am looking forward to this year's Celebrate Oz - Shadows of Oz.

Artwork by Sunshine Shelle (Michelle Kennedy)

My own thoughts have changed so very much from when I first selected the title. I was in a bit of a funk when I thought of shadows in Oz but with the spring arriving in but a few days and my spirits lifting and Mr. Anxiety being coaxed to go back into the shadows (tee hee), I am in a new spot with thoughts of a different kind of shadow in Oz.

If you would like to participate and haven't already signed up, just contact me through a comment on this blog post and I will be glad to add you to the list of party revelers.

In the meantime my lovelies, I hope spring is whispering sweet tales to you and that the winter doldrums are silently sneaking out of your sweet lives. See you in Oz on April 11.

Here's a look back on our past celebrations..............

The Original
artwork by moi

Son of Celebrate Oz
artwork by moi

Altered Oz
artwork by Sunshine Shelle (Michelle Kennedy)

Hues of Oz
used online art and added titles
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda